o’donnell golf course

palm springs, california

Thomas O’Donnell’s original Residence and Golf Course were the creation of oil Tycoon Thomas O’Donnell, who began construction in 1925. The Thomas O’Donnell original Residence, Ojo del Desierto (Eye of the Desert) was the first Palm Springs Building to be constructed above the valley floor, approximately 200’ above the village, on the lower slopes of Mt. San Jacinto. The original Residence is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This nomination presents the golf course and additional buildings including Thomas O’Donnell’s second Residence, within the O’Donnell compound as equally significant contributors in the evolution of the Village of Palm Springs emergence on the national desert resort scene, and the development history of Palm springs. O’Donnell began construction in 1926, finishing the first iteration of his private 9-hole course the following year. It is the oldest remaining golf course in the Coachella Valley. The historic designed landscape, golf course, and contributing structures are important as the “front yard” of O’Donnell’s private estate (Eye of the Desert). The compound includes the carriage house and chauffeur’s apartment, the gate lodge, third hole restroom, the golf shop, the golf house (O’Donnell’s second residence), and the golf course. The golf course and surrounding buildings retain all aspects of historic integrity including location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.

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southridge house

palm springs, california

Southridge is one of the most exclusive and historic estates in Palm Springs. Development on the steep hill began in the early 1960s. Its spectacular site overlooking the Coachella Valley spurred designers like John Lautner to create the area’s most dramatic properties: the legendary Bob Hope and Arthur Elrod houses. William F. Cody and Hugh Kaptur also designed homes there and the community attracted stars like Steve McQueen and William Holden. This home, originally designed by the local team of Patten & Wild is one of the first homes to be built in Southridge. It is a simple California ranch style with a hip roof and concrete shingles. Original breeze-blocks still wrap around the lower level, where the architect has created her studio. The house has been gutted internally and the floor plan has been reworked, removing a clumsy lower-level addition that detracted from the home’s outlook, re-siting pool equipment, and returning the property to its minimal design. The house embraces the landscape, blurring the boundaries of interior and exterior, with the exterior being equally important. “The best design goes unnoticed…the eye carries beyond the house.” The home had interiors more suited to Beverly Hills than the desert, so beige marble was removed in favor of poured terrazzo. A previously secluded kitchen now opens to the tremendous views. Bathrooms feature original vintage tile and are updated with new fittings and Dornbracht hardware that matches the Crane originals. The neutral color palette throughout provides a soft backdrop for classic midcentury furniture by Eames, Saarinen and Mies van der Rohe. Outside the landscape has also been reworked and simplified with desert plantings.